Brave New World

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Like nearly everybody else, I’m hooked on the worldwide impact of the ongoing CoronaVirus pandemic. Blogs by writers living in other countries suggest that they, like us, mostly are at home and looking through their windows or hanging out in their backyards. Nearly everybody worries about present and future health care and the overall environment.

Much about how such as these evolve will result from how societies are governed. I live in Central Oregon, in an essentially remote and almost landlocked area between mountains and desert. I’ve considered myself a remote watcher of national politics and of shenanigans among the rich and powerful. I’m not feeling so remote now, for my area visibly is being impacted by decisions of those who govern this nation.

Yesterday, ICE personnel showed up, right here in nearly-landlocked Bend, and arrested two long-time citizens. They claimed they had a warrant, but didn’t or couldn’t produce one. Local citizens seeing what was happening immediately surrounded and blocked that ICE truck. Bend citizens used social media to publicize and protest those arrests. Bend’s mayor supported ICE’s appearance and the arrests.

Recently, too, we in Oregon learned that the Trump Administration has allowed lumber producers to start cutting into Oregon forests, to log the remaining, relatively-small stands of giant old-growth trees. Meanwhile, the State has initiated a lawsuit to oppose this and hopes to make impossible any cuttings of old growths.

I repeat that, until now, I’ve felt a relatively distant observer of national politics. But no longer, for I’ve become as disgusted as one living in a major city who feels highly impacted by this Nation’s poor leadership. I’m stunned by its blatant neglect of the sheer necessity to cope realistically with deteriorating factors related to human health and our struggling environment.

The pandemic and the politics are awakening many citizens to the fact that ahead is a new world. Regardless of whether we allow government to continue as is, or whether we vote and change our leadership, much won’t and can’t be the same. Our planet is overburdened, has been managed poorly. Saving it and ourselves requires a widespread acceptance of new constraints, and accordingly, changes in how we behave.

Neither paper money, gold, nor such as bitcoin or virtual money, could help if ahead there comes a time of genuine, real shortages–say, of food, toilet paper, fuels, hospital equipment. We all must get smarter and also hope that ahead our leadership also becomes smarter and is more caring.

Dear Friends: I try to avoid writing about politics, but sometimes…. Diana

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